Sunday, March 22, 2009

The FDA's Latest Health-Harming Stance on Mercury

Federal health officials have refused to put new restrictions on the use of thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, in vaccines and other medicines.

The Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs petitioned the FDA for tighter restrictions in 2004, citing evidence that the preservative could be linked to autism. In a reply made public only recently, the FDA rejected the petition.

The Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs currently plans to seek a court order that would force the FDA to remove thimerosal from all vaccines and medicines until it is demonstrated that the preservative is safe.

Thimerosal, which is about 50 percent mercury by weight, is used to kill microbes in vaccines. Since 2001, vaccines given to children 6 and younger have contained at most trace amounts of the preservative. It is still, however, present in some adult vaccines, including most doses of flu vaccine, and in some eye ointments, nasal sprays, and antivenins.

In related news, a government advisory panel has concluded that an FDA safety report suggesting that "silver" mercury amalgam fillings are safe was "unreasonable," and that further study was needed.

The safety report was deemed murky and misleading, and failed to answer concerns regarding why mercury was being used at all. Dental amalgam contains about 50 percent elemental mercury, and studies have shown that with time, mercury vapors leach out of the fillings and may be absorbed into the bloodstream.





Sources:

MSNBC October 24, 2006
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15405274/

Journal of American Medical Association October 25, 2006; 296(16): 1990-1997
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/296/16/1990


Belleville News Democrat September 29, 2006
http://www.bnd.com/living/15638505.htm

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